Helping Working Families in Local Communities
On June 13th, United Way’s from across the U.S. convened on Capitol Hill to advocate for key tax priorities, including expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), improving access to the Child Tax Credit, and improving the Charitable Deduction.
Thousands of Tennessee families work but still don’t earn enough to pay for basic necessities such as groceries, rent, or healthcare. Many use the EITC to afford reliable transportation to work and quality childcare, or to get through a tough time— like a temporary job loss or cut in hours. The EITC is one of the best tools we have to promote work and lift people out of poverty.
United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community, and we utilize tools such as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to help low-to-moderate income individuals and families avoid tax preparation fees, maximize their federal refunds, and lay the foundation to self-sufficiency.
This year, our VITA program helped 2,113 residents in Williamson, Hickman, and Maury Counties file their taxes and receive $1,600,317 in refunds, including $414,648 in Earned Income Tax Credit.
Everyone who works hard should make enough to support their families. The EITC is one of the most sensible aspects of our tax code that (1) can help ensure we live up to our values and (2) offer Tennesseans the opportunity to build a better life. The program keeps people working and allows low-wage workers to keep more of their hard-earned money so they can cover basic expenses without relying on public assistance. In fact, most recipients claim EITC for short periods— only one or two years.
Credits are proven supports that help lower-income families work their way from program and government dependency to independence and sustainability. They prevent families from being taxed into poverty, improve education outcomes, and bolster local economies.
6/17/19 Update: VITA started 50 years ago, and since 2008 it has been classified as a demonstration pilot program – requiring an authorization from Congress every year. A bill that will make the VITA program permanent passed Congress on June 13. H.R. 3151 – The Taxpayer First Act – is heading to the President to be signed into law. The passage of this legislation is a major win for millions of low and moderate income Americans and the United Way network.